Does anyone else have to look carefully when you type the word “buffet”? I am a Parrothead as well as a Disney fan and have to make sure I don’t subconsciously start talking about Jimmy. While I am sure he can set out a great spread, this story is about Tusker House, which I think is a great restaurant for little ones.
Tusker House is a buffet restaurant located in Africa in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It has been renovated within the last couple of years. In its former life, this was a quick service dining location. To access the restaurant now, you wind around to the left and back of the building. Here you check in with the hostess and you’ll be given a buzzer. There is plenty of space to wait in the outdoor seating area. My brother wants me to be sure that I mention the Dawa Bar located within this outdoor area. He recommends this little oasis. There was an African drum group playing during our brief wait and somehow Tink (12 months at the time) slept through the band. Once our buzzer went off, we returned to the hostess stand and were taken indoors to one of the restaurant’s dining rooms. Our server was very helpful and gave us a good idea of what we’d find at the buffet.
This was our best group meal of the trip. Everyone really enjoyed the food and it was similar to one of our favorites, Boma. The menu is African cuisine and we especially liked the seafood stew, salmon, samosas, couscous, and the various breads. What I really loved about this meal was that I got to relax a bit. Character meals are great, but it was nice to have a calmer environment. I can see that this could be a noisy restaurant if busy but we didn’t have any problems. There was just enough action to keep the little one entertained but not enough to distract her from the task at hand.
I love buffets for little ones for a couple of reasons. First, under three years old is free. Second, we can feed her quickly. Tink is pretty well behaved in a restaurant, but a one year-old only has so much patience. I was able to offer her a good variety of foods, including PB&J and corn dogs from the kids bar as well as veggies from the adult sections. I was really impressed by how well she ate here. They don’t have straw cups for kids, but a disposable coffee cup with a lid worked about as well as a sippy cup for milk.
Tusker House isn’t quite as good as Boma, but I would definitely return. It’s nice to have this cuisine at the park; it’s much more convenient than the hike over to Animal Kingdom Lodge. The food was very good and they only put out small quantities and replenish frequently so everything stays fresh. I can’t end a food post without talking about dessert. A good variety of treats are offered, so get a big plate and be sure to try the spice cake.
Lunch at Tusker House is about $21 per adult. Dinner can be up to $29.99 per adult. Breakfast is a character meal featuring Donald Duck, Daisy, Mickey, and Goofy. Reservations are recommended and at certain later lunch times, you can also get reserved entry into Finding Nemo-The Musical.
Have you eaten at Tusker House? What did you think?
Contributed by: Amy E (NDM#242). Amy is our resident baby expert and creator of Growing Up Disney.